Shawano County officials credit hostage in helping end standoff - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Shawano County officials credit hostage in helping end standoff

WITTENBERG (WAOW) - It may have ended peacefully, but for more than two hours on Tuesday tensions in Shawano County were high.

You have to protect the public and you're trained to take care of the situation at all costs,” said Shawano County Sheriff's deputy Justin Hoffman.

Hoffman is a member of the Special Response Team. He has been for seven years.

I'm the designated team sniper,” explained Hoffman.

On Tuesday, his team was called out to a gas station, and McDonald's complex on Genesee Street in Wittenberg.

We received information that the person wanted to shoot it out with police,” said Hoffman.

Authorities say Travis Keiler, 28, of Gillett, walked in holding a small caliber gun. He let all the employees go, except for the manager. That's when authorities say a negotiator stepped in.

The biggest thing is the negotiator has to build a re pore with that person. They have to get to know them, talk to them about common interests and hopefully build his trust enough to talk him out of the situation,” explained Hoffman.

Authorities say the hostage, a 26-year-old from Wittenberg, also helped make that happen.

With him being calm and remaining calm when he was put in a situation like that, helped the suspect remain calm,” said Shawano County Sheriff Randall Wright. “That made it a lot easier for us to deal with suspect. More so than if it was a high panic situation.”

The hostage was let go, unharmed. An hour later, Keiler surrendered.

For the outcome to happen the way it did, I'm very pleased with the way things happened,” said Sheriff Wright.

It was peaceful ending, in a dangerous situation.

Authorities say Keiler is expected to be formally charged later this week.
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